Aphrodite: God of Love in Greek Mythology

     Aphrodite was the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty and fertility within Greek and Roman Mythologies. She was married to Hephaestus and was evidently considered the most Beautiful Goddess of Olympus, check.

Aphrodite in Greek Mythology:

     Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty and sexuality in the ancient Greek religion. Responsible for the perpetuation of life, pleasure and joy. Historically, his cult in Ancient Greece was imported from Asia, influenced by the cult of Astarte, in Phenicia, and his cognate, the goddess Ishtar of the Akkadians. Both were goddesses of love, and their attributes and rituals were incorporated into the Greek cult of Aphrodite. In the Roman era, it would be Aphrodite's turn to be the influence, giving rise to her Roman equivalent, the goddess Venus. In Greek mythology, the most famous version of her birth told by Hesiod, she was born when Kronos cut Uranus' genitals and hurled them into the sea; Aphrodite rose from the foam (aphros) that arose. 

     However for Homer, prior to Hesiod, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. During the Plato period, the Greeks had resolved this conflict by stating that Aphrodite has two different aspects, without individualizing the cult: the first Aphrodite Urania, would be the heavenly Aphrodite, of divine love. Zeus' daughter would be the Aphrodite of common love, of the people, called Aphrodite Pandemos from which physical love and lustful desires emanated. The main myths involving the goddess are the Trojan War saga, where she protected the city of Troia and the lovers Helena and Paris; her persecution of mortals who offended her, such as Psyche and Hipólito; the blessings given to believers like Pigmaleão to live with their loved ones; and his various love affairs, such as Ares and Adonis.

"It was she who gave the germ of plants and trees, it was she who brought together in the bonds of society the first men, fierce and barbaric spirits, it was she who taught each being to join a companion. It was she who provided us the countless species of birds and the multiplication of herds. The furious ram fights, with horns, with the ram. But it fears of hurting the sheep. The same power sustains everything that lives under the wide seas and populates the waters of countless fish. Venus was the first to deprive men of the fierce aspect that was peculiar to them. "

The Story Behind the Greek Goddess:

     Aphrodite is a goddess as old as time, belonging to a lineage of female goddesses who represented fertility in antiquity. The cult of Aphrodite was probably based on the cult of Astarte of Phenicia, which was revered throughout the Middle East as sovereign of the world. However, as religious syncretism was very strong at that time, the origin of the goddesses is not exactly known. For example, in the Babylonian Empire, Astarte was related to the goddess Ishtar. She would also be associated with the Syrian goddess Atargatis and the Sumerian love goddess, Inanna. 

     According to Pausânias, the Assyrians were the first civilization to found a cult of Aphrodite, a thesis that makes sense, in view of a research that reveals the Mesopotamian influence on Greek society and mythology, before 700 BC The cult of Aphrodite in Greece probably it was introduced from Syria to the islands of Cyprus, Kythera, Corinth and others, from where it spread throughout the Greek region. 

     Then, the goddess of love would have "been born" in the Mediterranean, where the goddesses mentioned were worshiped. Aphrodite is also quite similar to the goddess Hator of Egypt, who was seen as Aphrodite by the Greeks. Astarte, Ishtar, Inanna, Hator and Aphrodite are seen to be goddesses of common attributes, who were generally seen as a single goddess, making it difficult to determine precisely who influenced whom, although historians agree that the cult of Aphrodite is of Eastern origin. 
     In the Roman Empire, another syncretism would occur and Aphrodite would be transformed into Venus. Despite the efforts of mythographers to "Hellenize" Aphrodite, it has always betrayed its Asian origin. In the Iliad this is very noticeable. His protection and predilection for the Trojans living in Asia Minor and particularly for Aeneas, fruit of his love with Anquises, denote his non-Greek origin.

Aphrodite Was Also Known as Venus:

     In the Hellenistic period, Greek culture dominated Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. Thus, there is a predominance of Greek arts and sciences in the Western world. Later, with the expansion of Rome, each of the kingdoms in those territories was absorbed by the new Roman power. 

     Before that, however, the Romans themselves adopted traces of Greek culture, and later Hellenism, hence Greek culture was later perpetuated by the Roman Empire. The Romans appropriated Aphrodite for themselves during the conquest of the Greek cities of southern Italy, such as Pesto, and then in Sicily, where the goddess was venerated in Syracuse. Venus may have been the successor goddess of an Etruscan deity at a very early point in Roman history. However, the Roman concept of Venus and its myths are based on the literary works of Greek mythology in relation to Aphrodite

     Venus is a Latin noun that means sexual love or sexual desire. It was the Romans who made divinity also a military goddess, in addition to beauty, love, fertility and seduction. In Roman mythology, she is the divine mother of Aeneas, the ancestor of the founder of Rome, Romulus. In Rome, she was worshiped in a temple on the Capitol. Julius Caesar was one of the emperors who adopted Venus as his protector. His holy month was April, because that was when the flowers opened or bloomed. Venerália, her feast, started on April 1st, and myrtle and roses were her sacred flowers.
     His children are: Eros, Phobos, Deimos, Harmony, Adrasteia, Erotes, Rode, Erix, Tique, Hermaphrodite, Carites, Priapo, Liros, Béroe, Golgos, Aeneas, Chest

The Mythology of Aphrodite:

     Aphrodite, according to some versions of her myth, was said to have been born near Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, which is why she is called "Cypria", especially in Sappho's poetic works. Its main center of worship was exactly in Paphos, where the goddesses Ishtar and Astarte had been worshiped since the beginning of the Iron Age. Other versions of the myth, however, claim that the goddess was born near the island of Cythera. The island was a commercial and cultural hub between Crete and the Peloponnese, so these stories may have preserved traces of the migration of the Aphrodite cult from the Levant to mainland Greece.
     In the most famous version of her birth narrated by Hesiod, it would have come about through castration: Cronos would have cut off his father Uranus' genitals and hurled them into the sea. The foam arising from the fall of the genitals in the water, which some authors identified as being sperm, would have fertilized Thalassa, personification of the sea, and from that foam originated Aphrodite and other beings such as the Meliádes and Erínias. In Hesiod's words, "the penis (...) there floated a lot on the plain, around white foam of the immortal flesh ejaculated, from it a virgin was created." This virgin became Aphrodite, floating to the shore on a scallop shell. This image, of a "Venus rising from the waters of the sea" (Venus Anadiômene), already fully mature, was one of the most iconic depictions of Aphrodite, celebrated by a much admired painting by Apeles, already lost, but described in Natural History of Pliny the Elder.
     The oldest version of Aphrodite's birth, narrated by Homer and other authors, she would be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, the goddess of the nymphs whose oracle was located in Dodona. Aphrodite herself is sometimes referred to as "Dione", which appears to have been a feminine form of "Dios", the genitive of Zeus in Greek, and could only mean "the goddess" in a generic way. Aphrodite herself would then be an equivalent of Reia, the mother-earth, and that Homer would have moved to Olympus. 

     Some scholars have hypothesized a proto-Indo-European pantheon, in which the main male deity (Di-) would represent heaven and thunder, and the main female deity (female form of Di-) would represent the earth, or the soil. fertile. After the cult of Zeus took the place of the oracle located in the oak grove in Dodona, some poets would have made him the father of Aphrodite.

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